Passenger Airplane Carrying 239 Goes Missing En Route to Beijing

Commercial Airplane Carrying 239 Goes Missing En Route to Beijing

Commercial Airplane Carrying 239 Goes Missing En Route to Beijing

The Slatest
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March 7 2014 8:17 PM

Commercial Airplane Carrying 239 Goes Missing En Route to Beijing

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Passengers board a Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the eastern city of Kuantan 18 August 2004

File photo by Jimin Lai/AFP/Getty Images

For now we'll all have to hold our breath, but the news out of southeast Asia doesn't look good at the moment, via an Associated Press breaking-news alert:

Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The airline says that Flight MH370 has lost contact with Subang air traffic control at 2:40 a.m. Saturday. The flight is operated on the Boeing 777-200 aircraft. It departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.

"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," the carrier said in a statement. Boeing, the maker of the plane, released its own statement late Friday night our time that read, in part: "Our thoughts are with everyone on board."

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Beijing is 13 hours ahead of the east coast, so the plane had been out of contact with air traffic controllers for more than six hours—and was more than two hours overdue in Beijing—by the time the airline made the announcement.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.